Restaurant review: Kaarna – bar and kitchen

12 02 2017

Restaurant Kaarna is a laid-back Finnish restaurant with a Scandinavian twist. The restaurant offers simple food and as speciality beers from microbreweries. Most of the dishes also have beer suggestions. To start with, restaurant recommends to try snapas, a sortiment of tapas made from Finnish ingredients. 

Kaarna is located in Forum shopping center in two floors. Street level, there is a small bar, and at the second level there are the dining area and lounge type of bar. There is even small inside terrace by the entrance in the shopping mall.

Ask for window table by Mannerheim street, if you want to follow by-passers and shoppers.

 

For starters had Green salad and Blini with pike roe.

It looked beautiful, but unfortunately the taste was not.  No dressing was added to the salad, or oil offered.  This salad is not listed on the menu, but there were not vegan options for starters.  Nice of them to improvised, but not a success this time.

As it is blini season, had to try it for starter. Only roe available was pike, usually salmon or white fish roes are served. Blinis were ok, but the amount of roe was ridiculous. Never have I seen that tiny pile of roe. And seldom, if ever, syrup is served with blini. Missing black pepper was the third thing, which went wrong.

For vegan food Pulled oats flatbread Pulled oats flavoured with tar and fennel, onion purée and flatbread from Lapland and Roasted country chicken Chanterelle sauce, fried vegetables and roasted potatoes.

Pulled Oat is oat and bean based protein food developed by Gold & Green, new Finnish vegan food producer.

Finnish flat bread is tasteless and dry as it is, so the toppings should be the opposite.  In this case, once again, it looked delicious, but there is just one word to describe this dish:  Bland.

Taste of chicken was nice, but is was quite dry. Portion included sauce, which tasted mushrooms. Maybe, if there had been some bites of chanterelles, it might have tasted, what it should have been.



Wine, which was so called Loyalty Customer wine, was best part of the dinner. Banrock Station Shiraz 2016 from Australia paired well with slightly spiced food. Quite sweet taste still because wine is really young.

Restaurant Kaarna has perfect location in one of the busiest shoppping centers and by the Mannerheim street. If you want window table, it is recommend to make table reservation in advance because restaurant is busy on weekend evenings.

Because of fully booked tables, had to wait 40 minutes for starters.

Unfortunaly food experience was not at the level we expected but location and window table increased overall grade.

REVIEW: Food 2/5 – Service 3+/5Overall grade 3+/5

https://www.raflaamo.fi/en/helsinki/kaarna-baari-keittio





Restaurant review: Kaarna – bar and kitchen

28 12 2014

Restaurant Kaarna is located in the Forum Shopping Center serving Finnish traditional food. Concept includes dining area and so called living room (bar) at the 2nd floor and small bar at the first floor.

Ask for window table and you can the follow passers-by at Mannerheim Street. If they say that restaurant is fully booked (phone or email) you might anyway get the table you requested.

Window table at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Kaarna - reijosfood.com

The food itself:

From the Nordic Tapas plates we chose Kaarna fish plate Smoked vendace from Kitka, cold-smoked pike, pickled vegetables and rye malt breadcrumbs. This is THE starter you have to choose, if you like fish. Of course you can order same dishes as separate starters but one part of experience is setting of food pieces.

Tapas might mislead you, but word Nordic before it explains everything. They are small Finnish or Scandinavian dishes.

Nordic tapas at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

For main course we had Smoked salmon with pickled vegetables, shrimp mayonnaise and potato rösti and Fried whitefish with potato rösti, spinach and whitefish roe.

Unfortunately kitchen did not succeed with these portions. Salmon seemed to be smoked and fried, because it was so dry and even greasy. Pickled vegetables were the same as in starter.

Also whitefish was over-fried. We asked to replace spinach with someting else and best choise was salad. Also asked not to include onion but got plenty of it. Potato röstis in both portions were like fast food stuff.

Salmon at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Wine list is is short, Kaarna focuses more on beers. Had bottle of Albet i Noya Xarel·lo Classic from Spain. All white wines were organic like this one. Light and fruity wine paired well with starters and fishes.

Wine at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Main courses dropped points a lot. Service was customer friendly and as restaurant was not so crowded, waiter and waitress had time to serve us. Maybe Boxing Day affected the level of food. On the other hand last time was not either succesful when it came to main courses.

Kaarna library bar is worth to visit, cozy couches and so on. You should also taste Nordic tapas but choose main course carefully. Meat dishes might be best choise.

REVIEW: FOOD 2+/5 – SERVICE 3,5/5OVERALL GRADE 3+/5

Ravintola Kaarna: Suomalaista ruokaa – suomalainen keittiö – forum.





Restaurant review: Ristorante Como

13 09 2013

Como - reijosfood.com

Ristorante Como, spacious promising Italian restaurant located on the 2nd floor between shopping centers Forum and Kamppi.

Ristorante Como was established 9 months ago in the same location where there used to be theater restaurant which did not gain on popularity. Therefore dining room is spacious, maybe even too big in order to achieve Italian type athmosphere. On the other hand it is sometimes convenient to be able dine in privacy because in most cases you have to listen what other diners shout because of background noise. Como is owned by same the Tampere based company as Stefan’s Steakhouse (review can be found at reijosfood.com by using search). First Como restaurant was also established in Tampere.

Ordered for starters 6 Antipasti from 9 different alternatives which were grouped in Verdura, Carni and Pesce. Our choises were Pan fried zuccini rolls, Artichoke and mascarpone, Pan fried scallops and water cress, Lemon marinated white fish, fennel, peas and carrots, Prawn tails and endive salad and Prosciutto with melon. 

All antipasti were delicious except artichoke stuff because articchoke did not taste at all, main flavor was mascarpone. Each starter costs 7€ each which would be too much but as you get volume discount by ordering 2 or 3, it makes sense to try them.

Bread basket was brought after antipasti plate which was a mistake. If basket includes Grissinis which should be eaten with aperitif not with starter, it is served too late. In this case waiter forgot to bring bread basket in time. Foccacia was great and olive oil complemented wholeness.

Starter in Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

Main courses were Pike-Perch pan fried in olive oil, lemon and rocket and Como’s raw sausage and tomato salad. For side dishes (one included in the price) we chose Green salad with olive oil and Potatoes.

Fish was well prepared but too salty. Otherwise it would have earned high scores. Sausage was perfect and even better end result would have been achieved if one side dish would have been Potato, zucchini and spring onion which was on the restaurant web site. Boiled potato did not match so well as for instance potato salad would have.

Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

Because portions were not so huge there was room for desserts. Tried Rhubarb with sorbet and Limoncello pie. Desserts should be prepared at the restaurant, but think they were not in this case.

Sorbet was icy, full of “hailstones”. Limoncelle pie was tasty and dessert was well placed on the plate. Something seemed missing, maybe flavor of limoncello should have been stronger.

Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Como competes toe to toe with best Italian restaurants in Helsinki, would say mostly with Sasso and Gastone. With some improvements in portions Como might be leading restaurant when it comes to Italian food.

When paying the bill we were given gift card which offered one main course for free when purchasing two by end of 2013. Lack of customers or attempt to grow loyal customer base? We might go again to try pizzas because they seemed to be polular and looked promising.

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5

Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

You can not find this restaurant on English pages http://www.ravintola.fi/en

http://www.ravintola.fi/como_helsinki





Restaurant review: Kaarna

22 07 2012

Visited restaurant Kaarna second time this year. Last visit was not so succesfull for many reasons, but location and athmosphere attracted again.

https://reijosfood.com/2012/01/

Kaarna Bar & Kitchen is a laid-back Finnish restaurant with a Scandinavian twist. The restaurant opened in April 2009 offers simple and distinct flavours and wide selection of beers of microbreweries. Because of its central location, Forum shopping center, restaurant is easy to find. Its two floors (street bar in ground floor and dining room and “living room” in 2nd floor) offer an atmospheric setting for a longer get-together as well. Restaurant has two entrances, one is by the Mannerheim street and one is in the Forum shopping center on the 2nd floor. This entrance is closed when the shopping center is not open.

From Nordic Tapas (Snapas) list ordered our favourite Kaarna fish plate and Potato waffle, white fish roe and sour cream. Fish plate includes smoked vendace from Kitka, fresh salted salmon, old-fashioned pickled gherkin and sweet and sour rye bread. Always enjoyable and provides good example of traditional Finnish fish foods. White fish roe was delicious as always and especially suited well with potato waffle. Usually roe is served with blinis or toast bread.

For main courses Roasted salmon with false morel sauce and dill-potato bake and Fried white wish with horse radish and melted butter, asparagus and mashed potatoes. Had to send back false morel sauce because of sand/stones. It is very important to wash false morels well, otherwise might be dangerous for teeths. Both fishes were over roasted and fried, however smashed potato was tasty.

Interesting that kitchen uses same red sweet sauce as decoration for every dish.

Restaurant had improved a lot from last visit. Starters earned 4- but main courses downgraded points for food. Because of window table, view and affordable food pricing, overall grade increases.

REVIEW: FOOD 3-/5 – SERVICE 3,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

http://www.ravintolakaarna.fi/





Restaurant review: Kaarna

9 01 2012

Restaurant Kaarna is located in shopping center Forum and serves Finnish traditional food. Ask for window table and you can the follow passers-by. If they say that restaurant is fully booked (phone or email) you might anyway get the table on the spot.

Helsinki is one of the design capitals 2012. To celebrate this restaurant chain including Kaarna offers bottle of champagne (Piper-Heidsieck) at affordable price 39€, if you have customer loalty card.

The food itself:

From the Nordic “tapas” list we chose Toast Skagen which is traditional shrimp on the white bread combination. This time too much onion and quite dry. Could recommend though Kaarna fish plate from previous visit.

Main course was roast salmon with false morel sauce and dill-potato bake. First of all salmon was much too salty and potatoes were more or less just fried without taste of dill. Waitress claimed that sauce has always been in separate jar as it was this time which was not true as we had asked for sauce jar when we visited restaurant last time.

We were requested an order several times quite right we arrived although we had not been read the menu. But we also had to ask for water three times before we got carafe. Obviously we were even 😦

Grades below represent the visit this time. Earlier visit would have been generated better grades due to professional chef and waitresses.

REVIEW: Food 2/5 – Service 2/5Overall grade 3/5

http://www.ravintolakaarna.fi/fileadmin/toimipaikka/Toimipaikan_kuvat/PDF-tiedostot/kaarna_menu_english_2011.pdf








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